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SPECIAL REPORT: The Appalling Reality of US Mid-terms!

November 7th, 2018 · 19 Comments

I just can’t stay silent on this … even while on vacation!

The results of the US Mid-term elections were appalling in my view … but not for any of the usual partisan reactions/interpretations being offered up on the various victories/losses.

President Donald Trump’s name was NOT on any of the ballots … but he made it very clear, many times over during the campaign, that HE viewed the voting as a personal test of his public support.

Trump, in my view, has repeatedly disgraced the US Presidency: he has lied regularly… sometimes not just several times in a week or a day, but several times in a single speech or even sentence; he has acted disgracefully towards women; comforted haters; made racist comments himself; attacked the free press as “the enemy of the people”; insulted judges, domestic and foreign leaders;  broke signed agreements; and, presided over a mostly complicit, silent sycophantic Republican House and Senate caucus that regularly ignored the very principles and ethics that once made the US “that shining light on the hill”.

And yet, about HALF of the 114 million Americans who voted in the mid-terms SUPPORTED Trump, his Republican flag-bearers, the Trump record, the Trump legacy so far … and Trump’s agenda for the future.

That’s APPALLING!

True … enough Americans stood up to speak up and took away Republican control of the House, and that will have considerable implications for the Trump.

But in the Senate, Trump actually picked up additional seats … expanding and tightening his control.

APPALLING!

And there was much more being said by pro-Trump voters Tuesday than just satisfaction with economic growth, tax cuts, job numbers.  They can’t claim this time they just didn’t like “Hillary”.

The mid-term results, instead, demonstrate what has happened to too many Americans over the past two years: they abandoned the once inspiring American principles of truth, justice and ethical standards to endorse fear, racism and xenophobia.

So Trump is actually partially correct when he tries to spin the results as a “victory”.

In the America I used to know … and admire so much … a despicable, deplorable, lying character like Trump would never have been able to get elected in the first place.

And certainly, after TWO YEARS of every proven lie he has said, every disgusting trait he has exhibited, every disgraceful action he has taken, his Republican supporters, apologists and silent servants should have been sent a real message by the voters and lost both the House AND the Senate in much more massive numbers.

APPALLING that they didn’t.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: International · Media · National

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Greg // Nov 7, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    You can’t fix stupid Harv.

  • 2 Hawgwash // Nov 7, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    I agree, it is appalling; not surprising though.

    Not long ago, I offered to wager with Gene the Bean because he was so sure of the “blue wave.” I have felt, for some time, in spite of my contempt for the man, he would do just fine at midterms and I do believe, at this early juncture, he will be ok in 2020.

    I don’t know any Canadians who believed this would happen and, as I tell them, the reason they can’t understand it is simply because they are not Americans.

    Harvey, you understand the divide and are appalled. But, are you really surprised?

    The movements and emotion around Kavanaugh and Stoneman Douglas High School alone should have been enough to end the nonsense. It didn’t and the fact voter turnout didn’t hit 50% is a big story in angry America.

    The only surprise for me on the night, was that Democrat Sharice Davids defeated 4 term Republican, Kevin Yoder for the House.

    Being the first Native American elected and the first lesbian from Kansas, isn’t the surprise. That this actually happened in the current United States and in a red state no less, is the surprise.

    The Senate is now beholden to Trump and will be very dangerous.

    Hang on.

    (Response: I am surprised. I believed that after ALL Trump has done, said, lied so obviously etc, the vast majority of American voters would realize he plays them for being stupid, and would send a message … the mid-terms a good time/place to do it. Clearly I over-estimated the ethical standards of so many or underestimated their personal greed/hate. However, I do take comfort in the other half … including many Republicans and Independents who said/thought “enough” and acted to let Trump/Republicans know. h.o.)

  • 3 Hawgwash // Nov 7, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    Apathy and fear, Harvey. Family members are pitted against one another. Some from opposite side of the country.

    There is fear of the obnoxious, loudmouth uncle, neighbour, co-worker, who could and just might, personally affect the life of a democrat.

  • 4 13 // Nov 7, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Well Harvey, I guess Ill open myself up for some abuse but I am an ardent Trump supporter. I can agree with your essay Trump does not act presidential and he is VERY rough around the edges. He lies and he is lied about constantly. The msm has become so anti Trump that his claim that they are the enemy is not without some basis in truth. BUT BUT BUT your dead right that he has the support of aprox 50% of the population. He is the PUSH BACK against the PC SJW Obama. His views on ILLEGAL imigration are also not without merit.
    I can only imagine what sort of politician is going to come along in Canada to displace Justin Trudeau ( Im sorry err I mean he is sorry) He is an embarrassment to the same degree as Donald Trump in the opposite direction. Ying And Yang.
    I am as appalled at Trudeaus pathetic behavior as you are at Trump. Once again I agree with much of your criticism of Trump but that doesnt mean hes not the right person at the right time to stand up in the face globalist ambitious political parties.
    Fake bombs. Faked me to women. The list goes on forever , not a wonder Trump is no fan of CNN. They even tried to spin that Trump was antisemitic. Hes the first POTUS to not just talk about moving the embassy, he did it. Seems most of his inlaws are Jewish? Yet the CNN keeps trying to smear him as anti Jewish.
    Yes Trump is all of the thing you accused him of. But hes not a Trudeau and Im happy about that because one Trudeau is one to many.

    (Response: No Trump-like character with such divisive, xenophobic messages and sympathetic far right wing anti-democratic autocratic tendencies would ever catch on in Canada: the Tories tried a very minor version of some of this (remember the proposed cultural extreme practices phone line?) and it went nowhere, even among most Tory supporters. h.o.)

  • 5 Beenie // Nov 8, 2018 at 2:24 am

    Get ready for a revolution. America is heading that way by the day. The turmoil of a split country and the Mueller investigation will be an hourly story. I will stay away from that country until further notice. There are other sunny places to winter out the cold.
    To many people have no heart for the unfortunate.
    I’m done with America.

    (Response: It certainly appears Americans are more divided than ever and I’m not talking policies or politics, but the very essence and principles and ethics. The idea that 60 million voters could endorse as their leader an individual like Trump shows the sad state of American standards. Maybe the revolution … politically and peacefully … started Tuesday and will culminate in his ouster (if he really does run) in 2020.But the damage to America’s democracy and America’s image abroad will likely be even worse by then. Appalling. h.o)

  • 6 D. M. Johnston // Nov 8, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Th United States won’t change, as this latent fascist/police state is now showing all its ugly, ugly society.

    Just last night, 13 people were killed by another mass shooting, but hey, that’s common, as a bit of ethnic cleansing took place in Pittsburg, 12 days ago, where 11 people of the Jewish faith were slaughtered, because they were of the Jewish faith.

    Next week, maybe another mass school shooting, where maybe more children are sacrificed to the great god NRA.

    In a country where Evangelical religious leaders spew hate and grow fat on the con game that they play on the TV and their vast cathedrals of wanton excess, poverty and homelessness abound and the poor are denied medical service.

    In a country where school children are butchered regularly and no one gives a damn, the people light their hair on fire with the mere mention of abortion.

    The United States is now regressing back to its corn pone roots of Jim Crow racism, antisemitism, evangelical fervor and a hatred of all things not American.

    Now what we see is that a treasonous con man has assumed power and with a stacked Supreme Court, is now destroying the very fabric of lies and deceit and the ignorant are following him as the ignorant in Germany followed that other funny (later not funny) con man with the silly mustache in 1933.

    Here is the real question; will there be a 2020 election? Or, will the treasonous conman dream up some caravan or other national emergency to cancel the 2020 elections? Trump the Treasonous, may just declare himself emperor of the United States, banish elections as he has the court, the military and a good 40% of the population behind him.

    I think, we may soon see razor wire on the 49th, because for Trump the Treasonous, history is a scrap of paper.

    (Response: Yes, there will be a 2020 election and actually, I’m not so sure Trump, despite what he says, will actually seek a second term. He is so mentally unstable, I’m not sure he could handle the humiliation of a defeat, so if the polls look bad and the Dems find a credible motivating alternative, I would not be surprised to see him find an excuse to step away. h.o.)

  • 7 chuckstraight // Nov 8, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Complete agreement.

  • 8 Hawgwash // Nov 8, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Harvey, I hope you still have the strength, conviction and ability to leave all this in the carriage of the Remington at the end of the day. We want you to be “cleared for travel” long into the future.

    I feel guilty for intruding on your vacation and of those with you, but trust you will end the discussion when needed.

    13: Good for you and I mean that.

    Your piece is very articulate and thorough in putting forward the hows and whys of your support. I respect you for expressing it strongly and without the vitriol. That stuff will appear here soon enough.

    I agree with you to the extent of why the position is supported by so many. I disagree with why the person is supported and that the only way to get support for the position is to be that person.

    As Harvey said “The idea that 60 million voters could endorse as their leader an individual like Trump shows the sad state of American standards.”

    Worse is the knowledge that 120 million people sat on their hands at this particular time in history.

    I’m not saying a 60% or greater turnout would have proved any different but maybe we, or at least I, might be a little more, what’s the word, understanding?

    (Response: Thanks. The worst part of low voter turnouts is that, quite often those most in need of a better break, stay away … leaving an opening for those already favoured or partisanly politically motivated to exercise greater influence on deciding who will govern. Still, as someone who has often, but admittedly not always, voted on principles and ethics … rather than simply self-interest … to see so many millions of people ignoring or even worse endorsing Trump’s disgraceful, hate-filled, racist, sexist and often disgusting insulting statements and behavior saddens and disturbs me. Clearly I have a higher opinion …or used to … of the US Presidency than many Americans do! h.o.)

  • 9 Diverdarren // Nov 8, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Harvey, I wont support your premise that the results of the Midterm justify an “appalling” reaction.

    First and foremost, the election was another example of fair and free elections that we, in the West, tend to take for granted. The people will always have the liberty to choose their path. to describe their choice as appalling because you don’t agree with the choice undermines the fundamentals of Natural Law.

    I’m not going to try and defend the indefensible, much of what you say regarding Trumps personality is quite true. All I can say to that, is that Americans knew in 2016 and they knew in 2018 what type of person Trump is, but it’s clear that in 2018, with eyes wide open, Americans are not ready to repudiate his direction.

    The reason for the minimal voter push-back against Trump is that from a policy perspective his presidency is going the right direction.

    We could take each of your points that you make about Trump in your 4th paragraph, “Trump, in my view,…” and debate them back and forth, I could write out a list of wrongdoings of the previous administrations to show equivalency. I could bring up quotes from CNN hosts to show that there is merit in the claim that “CNN is fake news”

    But, in the end we come right back to where we are right now.

    Americans are not finished with their new nationalist direction for the nation. They believe that America is great, and it’s time for America to be great again. And this will have huge implications for us specifically in Canada (because of our historical connection) and for the world in general.

    America is a “sleeping dragon” but when it gets rolling it really can leave its mark.

    We could see Trump undo much of the post-WWII globalism that has created many of todays problems, and like many others in the Western Nations, I’ll be glad to see them gone, even if it means having a boorish US President.

    (Response: Seriously? Clearly the US election system is NOT free and fair: gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics are far too widespread. And don’t get me started on their election funding free for alls. As for globalism, the world’s economies generally have prospered tremendously from lifting nationalistic jpb/market protection barriers. Look at how Canada has benefitted from access to the US alone!! True economic benefit disparities have not been adequately addressed … but under protectionism, reduced exports, smaller markets … that will not get better. h.o.)

  • 10 Hawgwash // Nov 8, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Lest we forget:
    https://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/a-carbon-tax-just-try-them/
    ———————————
    In keeping with my contention that Canadians just don’t understand the US, Bruce Allen raised my eyebrows with his take.

    He states in today’s Reality Check: “not many people would actually admit they vote Republican but then they enter the privacy of the voting booth.”

    I absolutely and completely disagree, as most Republicans I come across (some otherwise nice folks) are proud of their redness, allegiance to the Confederate Flag, guns, the ability to talk louder than others and their voting.

    If such a world traveller as Bruce Allen doesn’t get it, how can the apprentice wrencher in Maple Ridge?

  • 11 david hadaway // Nov 8, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    In the Senate races the Democrats received twelve million more votes than the Republicans yet lost seats. In the House they have a majority, but it is much smaller than their vote share would justify. In fact thanks to a gerrymandered FPTP system they need 57% of the votes to take 50% of the seats.

    Looks like the USA is one place where, contrary to scare stories in BC, PR might help to reduce extremism!

    (Response: Since you brought it up, the results you mentioned are a perfect example of why NOT to have p.r. …. imagine the result in some states … where the KKK could win enough seats to wreak havoc, fear and even violent reactions! Only FPTP keeps them at bay!!! h.o.)

  • 12 Diverdarren // Nov 9, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Harvey, free and fair doesn’t mean that the election proceeds as you or I see fit. It means that the rule of law and due process was followed.

    Let’s take your points, gerrymandering, voter suppression and election funding.

    Yes, there are examples of attempts at gerrymandering, but what happens when it is suspected?
    One side takes the other to court and a judicial decision is made. Due process in action.

    Voter suppression, I suspect you are referring to voter ID laws. Compare the voter laws of the American states to Canada’s voter ID laws. There’s not much difference. Are you saying Elections Canada is engaging in voter suppression?

    http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=ids&document=index&lang=e

    Election funding, that’s an issue that was decided at the highest levels of the judiciary in Citizens United. Two sides disagreed, it proceeded though the proper channels, and a decision was made. The Supreme Court was not prepared to curtail freedom of speech of the people. Rule of Law (1st Amendment) being respected. Contrast that to Canada, We have the same free speech protection, but the government decides that they will tell the people what is free expression or not. Not exactly liberty in action.

    As for my globalism comment, I was mainly referring to World Government type bodies that interfere in national sovereignty. International trade, although called by some anti-capitalism types as globalism, is generally a good thing. There are good trade deals and there are bad trade deals. Each needs to be judged on its own merits.

    Free and fair doesn’t mean perfect, it means that when an issue presents itself there is a mechanism to resolve it.

  • 13 13 // Nov 10, 2018 at 10:50 am

    @Hawg, your refrence to Bruce Allen re the privacy of a voting booth made me laugh. For more than 16 years I voted for the BC Liberals (and will continue to support Wilkinson). I never was embarrassed to stand up in a crowd and support the BC Liberals. Over the years my encounters with other like minded BCL supporters were few and far between. YET the BCL continued to win elections????????
    So Allen is correct. Trump has a lot of support from millions of Americans that are fed up with feel good policies. They see immigration problems all over the globe and are worried sick about the “caravan”.
    Lets look at the “caravan” Moms and kids in the camera lens. Behind the moms and kids are the fighting age males. Many of them.
    This past summer I was sitting in a small crowd and listening to discussion about DJT. Every one of them took a turn slamming Trump. I sat by silently . One in the group that knew that I usually had an opinion on politics asked me why I hadnt chimed in. . I responded that I fully supported DJTs presidency and that I didnt want to interrupt their gab fest . Discussion ensued.
    BCL or DJT the support is out their and because the two are not media favorites many supporters prefer to remain quiet because they everyone isnt as thick skinned as those of us that follow Keeping it Real.

  • 14 Gene The Bean // Nov 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Fear, hate and racism are very strong motivators. Maybe the strongest.

    The absolute division of “educated” people voting against Trump and “uneducated” people voting for him sort of starts it off. Urban people v/s rural people. Whites v/s non-whites. Women v/s men. Monied v/s working people. This is a conservatives wet dream.

    Picking up an expected 30 seats in the House will be a death blow to Trump. Unfortunately his hate and racism will live on for decades.

    The Democrats won big. The Trumpastani’s will try and minimize it. I loathe them, whether it be here on this blog, or down there. Morally bankrupt just doesn’t go far enough anymore….

  • 15 OldIslander // Nov 10, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Several years ago, Victoria lawyer Doug Christie sued radio talk show host Garry Bannerman for libel when Bannerman said on air “Doug Christie has aligned himself so many times with these perverted monsters that he has to be viewed as one himself…” A jury ruled in Bannerman’s favour, saying it was fair comment.

    Trump might well be described as a monster. And his enablers – Sarah Huckabee, Kellyanne Conway, General Kelly, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Lindsey Graham, and many, many others – who have so closely ingratiated themselves to him, now might also be described as monsters.

    Trump feels like a symptom of a failing democracy. After his win, there was speculation that his block of supporters was a red-neck sub-group of the middle and lower class – people who believe all his fear mongering about non-WASPS. But it turns out, much of his base are well educated, wealthy retirees whose investments and 401K’s are fat and healthy. We met so many of them cruising that we don’t want to do it anymore. Even when carefully avoiding the topic of politics, it’s difficult to get a table without some pompous ass preaching the gospel of Trumpism.

    How the more liberal half of the US will solve this, is worrisome. When half of a country is so cynical and disillusioned with their system, that they’re willing to elect a monster to represent and lead them, is there any chance that the system can be fixed?

  • 16 13 // Nov 10, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    #14. Your second paragraph speaks volumes .

  • 17 Barry // Nov 12, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    I was hoping for better, but can’t say I was surprised.

    Face it, racism, fear of “the other” and all other sorts of nastiness has played a central role in American politics for a long time.

    Some examples off the top of my head from the last 50 or so years:

    –The “Jim Crow” laws and other measures designed to keep blacks from voting.

    –JFK’s fitness to be president was questioned by many merely because he was Catholic

    –Nixon and his “Southern Strategy” designed to hive off the angry white voters from Wallace and have them to himself. [That Wallace could run for President says volumes by itself]

    –When Ronnie open his campaign, he did it in Philadelphia Mississippi, the very town wherein 1964 the 3 civil rights workers were murdered. He used the term “states rights” which was nothing more than a term to let states violate civil right without interference from Washington.

    Later he used the race card in his use of the term “Welfare Queens” who drove Cadillacs while on welfare; a charge for which there was zero proof, but it did play well to the angry whites.

    –1988, Bush Sr used the infamous “Willy Horton” ads to smear his opponent. The creator of that ad on his deathbed regretted he did it.

    –The Tea parties who said and done outright racist things about Obama. First time I’ve ever seen signs out and out saying the President was a monkey or even that he was a secret Muslim.

    –The Republican efforts at voter suppression which has been called by judges an attempt to disenfranchise blacks. There are secret recordings of high Republican officials saying that they are deliberately targeting blacks and other minorities so they can get elected.

    –Lastly, don’t forget Trump came to national political prominence casting shade on Obama’s fitness to be president. CNN and others couldn’t give him enough time to spin that racist lie.

    Not saying Canada is perfect, but I look at a list like that and I know there is a serious sickness in large parts of the American body politic.

    (Response: The more I watch it unfold, the better and prodder I feel about Canada and our political system. America is in deep trouble: Just this week, Trump disgraced himself and the US at European Armistice ceremonies in France and stayed away from the ceremony Monday in Arlington Cemetery .. AWFUL!! His supprters say he’s been great for the economy… but their deficit is out of control; their debt is nearing is now $19 trillion (interest alone costs $40 Billion a year!); and yet, the richest are enjoying more huge tax cuts, the middle class get only tiny ones … and yet, they voted heavily for Trump and his agenda and despicable characteristics. Boggles the mind … and my former admiration for the shining principled human rights and freedom light to the world that the US used to be. h.o.)

  • 18 Hawgwash // Nov 13, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Harvey, you response to post 17 is in itself an explanation why 2018 worked and will likely again in 2022.

    None of what you pointed out matters. Trump and those who elect him don’t care one iota about image, debt, ceremonies or anything else that doesn’t served their own misguided, shallow thinking.

    Trump has mastered the harnessing of slugs and even though he will sprinkle salt on them, they will keep him right where he is.

    Until the Democrats solve who they want to be and can find a sexier agenda than the GOP, nothing will substantially change.

    If the imminent repeal of Roe v. Wade doesn’t change the voting stats, nothing will and I believe, sadly, that it will not.
    ——————————————
    13 at 13 (yikes, where’s the black cat and broken mirror?)
    My bit about Mr. Allen was that he believes GOP voters are silent. My experience with Americans says that is just not so. That’s all.

  • 19 e.a.f. // Nov 14, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    The results don’t surprise me. The first problem in the U.S.A., for federal elections, is the ruling party in each state gets to decide how the ridings are organized. Each party has gerrymandered and currently the Republican’s hold most states. Hence ridings which favour them. That doesn’t make for a free and fair election. When the Republicans can rig a states electoral boundaries so they win, what is free and fair? Then we have the no small matter of voter suppression. Georgia lone, had 50K ballots tossed out. Add to
    that the largest American political party are those who do not vote……..

    I’m actually surprised the Dems did as well as they did under the circumstances. There was an increase in Democrats in the House of Representatives, so that’s great. of course the Senate not so much.

    Blame can be laid at the door of Trump. Once he opened his mouth, the genie, which had been in the bottle for the past 20-30 years was out. it was once again “o.k.” to use racists ideology/terminology. Since the 1970s it had become less and less polite or appropriate to use specific terms, speak in a derogatory term about racial, religious minorities and then there was Trump and it all change. Racism hadn’t gone away, it simply wasn’t socially acceptable to say and do specific things. Then there was trump. To stuff the genie back in the bottle,, there will have to be a war or dtrump shuts up.

    CNN had a chart up today with the number of times dtrump would mention the caravan per day prior to the election and how often it has been mentioned since the election. Since the election, its been about once a day. Trump is the new hitler and he has the old play book. It worked then and it works now. Mass school shootings, 11 dead Jews, mass bar shooting, and then the California fires. What does the Pres. say about the California fires and all the dead and missing–its their fault and if they don’t “improve” he’ll with hold funds. He hates Gerry Brown and what he stands for. There is no cheap shot to low or too cheap for dtrump to take.

    Although there are plenty of jobs in the U.S.A. the average person’s quality of life has not improved and many of them have to blame some one. Hence the election results. The U.S.A. is a country in decline. A crumbling infrastructure, no decent health care unless you’re wealthy, and now the U.S.A. would most likely loose a conventional war with either China or Russia–results of a bi partisan study.

    All we can hope for is when the civil war starts it doesn’t spill over into our country.

    And while we’re feeling smug, 400 people showed up for Bernier’s “rally” in Calgary. 90% male, 99% white.

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